Jim’s Q&A with David Palumbo
Jim Behnken, Western Regional Director
Jim Behnken: David, it was a pleasure to meet you at the Bureau of Reclamation (BOR) sponsored C.A.S.T. event on Lake Mead. You came from Washington DC to attend and as I recall, you originally were from the Boulder City, Nevada area, correct? What is your position now with the BOR?
David Palumbo: You are correct. I moved to DC in October of 2015 from Reclamation’s Lower Colorado Region where I was the Deputy Regional Director. In DC, I am now the Deputy Commissioner for Operations.
JB: The BOR has supported C.A.S.T. for all 25 years of the foundations existence. Why do you think that is?
DP: C.A.S.T has a wonderful mission and is a meaningful and well organized organization, which I believe is appealing to Reclamation employees. From my experiences, my colleagues thrive on planning and contributing to the C.A.S.T. events, especially engaging with the participants. I surely love being involved.
JB: This event is coordinated by Brandon Barrow with the assistance of Adrianne Reed, Toyya Mahoney, and many others. At many C.A.S.T. events, boater volunteers come and take the participants out on the lake for a couple of hours to fish. This event is uniquely different. Pontoon boats are brought in, tied to the docks, and the children fish for the native fish that live in the marina year round. There are a LOT of fish for the kids to catch. What were your impressions of the event this year?
DP: This year’s event was great. In past years, I spent most of my time “off-boat” which I enjoyed, but this year I spent more time fishing with the children, which was very exciting and emotional. It was tremendous to see their faces as they got a bite and reeled in the fish.
JB: There were officially 77 registered volunteers for this event. That is an extremely high number. Apparently you and I are not the only ones that enjoy seeing children of needs catch fish! C.A.S.T. events would be nothing without the volunteers who come out and work so hard to do something so special for these children. Were you surprised to see so many volunteers?
DP: No. I believe C.A.S.T. is extremely appealing and the event is perhaps as rewarding for the volunteers as those participating. I believe you will see these same numbers in the future.
JB: Finally, you flew just about all the way across the United States to come support the kids. Was it worth the trip?
DP: Absolutely. I love C.A.S.T. and it’s worth every minute of travel.